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Deer and the Moon

Discussion in 'Bucks and Does' started by Procraftboats21, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Procraftboats21

    Procraftboats21 Original OGF Member

    how many of you guys use the moon to predict deer movements? I'm going to keep tabs of all the deer I see scouting and hunting and what the moon phase was when I seen them, maybe I can find a pattern.
  2. The only 2 deer I have killed were during the last week of October and the both were 3 days after a new moon..............Rich

  3. I've spent far more than my share of time in the woods, and I've ready study after study. I know a BUNCH of people disagree with me, but I believe there's no correlatation between the moon and deer movement. About every study I've read has found no conclusive difference between phases. If anything, a slight increase in daytime movement during a full moon. Yet, everyone wants to think the full moon is a poor time to hunt. But, have a full moon near the peak of the rut, and everyone thinks the bucks will go wild. You can't have it both ways. There's way too many other things to worry about other than the moon. Again, just my opinion, but I wouldn't waste my time worrying about it.
  4. Yep I knew what Mike's answer was before even reading it.;) We have had this conversation before on another forum and Mike is pretty convinced.:D And I have to say that I have not really found anything to prove otherwise myself. The only thing that I have been trying to follow to see its effect is the moon phase during the rut and whether or not it helps to trigger the estrous cycle. The explanation makes sense that the new moon phase brings on a significant decrease in light which helps to trigger the does in heat assuming they were on the edge of starting. As I say I have tried the last few years to relate this to my experiences but so far it has not proven anything. They weem to come into estrous pretty much the same time frame in each area each year.

    As far as the moon affecting travel patterns not relating to the rut there are theories on that but I have never bought into them either. In my experiences I usually hunt primarily the couple hours of dawn/dusk early in the season but once the rutting activity increases the opportunities can be at any time throughout the day. Naturally midday would see less activity than dawn/dusk normally but once the "juices" get flowing the bucks become pretty unpredictable and active.
  5. I sound like a broken record, don't I. :D
    Honestly, I've really tried to find some type of pattern, but it's just not there.
  6. I know that you were one that was saying that back when I was reading these publications thinking to myself that I had found some golden secret. I guess I just wanted to make it too easy. It seems that the key is still just good scouting, proper scent control, proper location, etc. And even after all of that you are still left needing a bit of luck.:rolleyes:
  7. Procraftboats21

    Procraftboats21 Original OGF Member

    thanks for the Input guys. Mike your response makes very good sense, I did some research on the bucks Ive killed, all have been in November and all were under different phases on the moon, infact the biggest one was even killed on a full moon.
  8. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    I have no scientific data to back up my opinions in this area, just years of bowhunting deer in numerous states and my personal oberservations.

    I fully believe that the early morning movements are reduced during the full moon periods with all factors being equal. If you only take into account a deers normal motivating factors (eliminate the rut) the observed peak activity for deer movement is late morning into midday.

    What does this mean? Nothing, I'm still hunting all periods of the day no matter what the moon phase happens to be. I do know that my confidence level is 3 fold during midday during the full moon phase, and typically early AM movement is at a minimum.

    I hunt an area where I have unobstructed views for up to 1000 yards in many directions to isolated fields. I can often see 40-50 deer at the same time spread out through these fields. It's pretty easy for me to know when the deer are up and about or not.

    It really doesn't effect how or when I hunt, it just is fun trying to predict when, where and why.

    Brian / Mike

    Good to see you both again! It's great to have you guys hanging around in the hunting forums again.

    Only my opinions,
  9. lureboy98

    lureboy98 Livin' the Lifestyle

    All of this seems so complicated to me! Heck, I'm just happy to get out in the woods when I can, no matter what phase of the moon. If I can get out there its good enough for me....I dont have enough days to worry about the phase of the moon, barometric pressure, the rut (although I try to hunt it more) all that junk. Basically, I'm just happy to make it out!
  10. That's how it should be. Sometimes we make more complicated than it needs to be. :D
  11. Thanks Kim! You are right it does feel good to be talking hunting again.;)
  12. I've got an excellent book regarding this subject. The author even devotes an entire chapter to other biologists/hunters that he respects AND that disagree with his theories. The author and title are escaping my overcrowded head right now, but I'll post it tomorrow.

    What I thought was most interesting about the book was that the author devotes a chapter to predicting the future. He created a chart and predicted the search/chase period, peak breeding window, secondary rut based on moon phases thru like 2021. I've got the page marked and I monitor behavior in my areas and compare with his predictions. The last 2 years have been dangerously accurate with the observations I've witnessed :eek:

    More later.......
  13. It wouldn't happen to be Jeff Murray would it? He's written a lot on the subject, but he focus's more on moon position than phase.
  14. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    Has anyone ever mooned a deer? :)
  15. Carpn


    I think it effect there monement some but there are so many other variables that get thrown into the mix its pretty tough for us average guys hunting the areas we do to forcast deer movement soley on moon phases...In a tightly controled ranch with a high deer population you probably could do a good job by hunting the moon phases.
    I do believe that moon phases greatly affect the timing of the rut due to the photo cycle.
    Last yr. I remember reading in several places that Nov. 8th was going to be the peak of the cruising phase of the rut....Well,at 8 am on Nov. 8th I shot a pretty nice 10 point. I didn't really give it much thought till later in the season when I was looking at pictures of deer kills in several checking stations and fish and game finder and noticed alot of deer killed on Nov. 8th...Also in the new issue of outdoor life it says that Nov. 8th 2003 was the day when the most B&C deer were taken....15 total nationwide. May just be alot of coincidence but who knows.
    Really though it just comes down to what was said earlier..Hunt when you can and have some fun.
  16. M. Magis -

    It's not Jeff Murray and dangit, I forgot to check again! :mad:

    I'm heading out of town, but will try to remeber to check it out and post back next week. It's the single best read I've seen on the subject.
  17. Carpn, I read a lot about that last year too. I really started noticing a lot of movement on the 8th too, though the 9th was by far the most exciting day for me. However, there was something else happening at that time that I felt had much more influence than the moon. The temps leading up to then had been somewhat warm, 50s and 60s. Then, the temps dropped into the low 40s for highs, near 20 for lows that weekend. That is what I believe triggered so much daytime movement. That and the fact that you can pretty much count on the rut kicking in about that time every year. There's so much written about predicting rutting activity based on the moon, but I just can't understand why they worry so much about it. The majority of does come into first estrous at the same time every year like clockwork. Of all these predictions I've seen over the years, they ALL have one thing in common: sometime in the first week of November the bucks will start chasing the does and peak breeding will be sometime near the second week. I could make that prediction and I'm nothing but a redneck bow hunter. :D
  18. Mike,

    I guess I can kind of see your point. The fact that the date stays pretty consistent is reason enough to be expecting good things to happen during that time. Really all the moon theory and others do are try to explain why it is that way. If it were a factor that varied more radically I think it may warrant more thought. But we are really just talking about the difference of a couple days or so each year.

    I have always thought of early November as being a prime to time to hunt because the does are either just about ready or even they have come into heat. Either way I am going to try to hunt whenever possible and my approach will not change during the period.
  19. Carpn


    Good Point MMAGIS Weather conditions greatly affect visable daytime rutting more than anything. I wholeheartedly agree with that.
  20. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    If you do some research on what triggers the rut based upon the biologist findings it is the amount of daylight that enters the eye in a days time.

    Thats why the northern latitudes rut begins earlier and progressively becomes later as you move south. The south Texas rut is in late Decemeber.

    Just check the traditional peak rut times for states and you'll see the progression from North to South.